Parliamentary election day in Abkhazia: 129 men and 8 women run for MP seats
photo: Ibragim Chkadua
Parliamentary elections are held in Abkhazia on Sunday, March 12.
137 MP candidates registered by the Central Election Commission:
- 113 MP candidates were nominated by the initiative electoral groups;
- 24 – by the political parties.
8 parties were entitled to nominate their candidates, but only 4 availed themselves of this right:
- ‘Aynar’ party nominated 8 MP candidates;
- ‘Amtsakhara” – 7;
- ‘Forum for the National Unity of Abkhazia’ – 6;
- ‘People’s Front of Abkhazia for Justice and Development – 3 candidates.
Among the nominees are:
- 1 ex-President– Alexander Ankvab;
- 2 ex-Premiers – Sergey Shamba and Leonid Lakerbaia;
- Several ex-ministers: ex-Foreign Minister, Vyacheslav Chirikba; ex-Interior Minister, Raul Lolua; ex-Chief of the National Security Service, currently leader of the united opposition, Aslan Bzhania; 2 ex-Ministers of Culture – Nugzar Logua and Badra Gunba; ex-Finance Minister, Beslan Kubrava;
- 31 MPs from the incumbent convocation of the Parliament;
- Several heads of the municipal and district administrations, including ex-Mayor of Sukhum,, Alyas Labakhua and ex-head of Gagra district administration, Astamur Ketsba.
8 women and 129 men are running for the Parliament of the 6th convocation.
Ethnic composition of the MP contenders is as follows:
- 129 Abkhazians,
- 8 Armenians,
- 1 Russian.
The youngest MP candidate (Said Azhiba) is 26 years old, the oldest one (Valeriy Kvarchia) -71.
36 out of the total number of MP candidates registered by the Central Election Commission (CEC) are either the current parliament members, or the members of the municipal/district councils, whereas 29 people are temporarily unemployed.
About RUB15million [approximately US$254,000] have been allocated from the budget for the parliamentary elections.
Problems that occurred in the campaign period
As Tamaz Gogia, the CEC Chairman, told journalists, ‘throughout the campaign period, the MP candidates have laid numerous claims against each other, but there have been just a few official complaints submitted’.
“In most of the cases the complaints are made verbally. Many refrain from filing official complaints in writing, whereas we cannot respond to rumors. 6 complaints were officially submitted, but 4 of them have been later withdrawn,” Gogia reported.
Tamaz Gogia considers the voter rolls to be the main problem in the campaign period. Under the law, the voter rolls are put up at all precincts 10 days before the ballot. “There are cases when many don’t understand and disagree with the additional voter rolls put up on the election day. The situation changes every day: someone died, someone turned 18 on the eve of election etc.” said Gogia.